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The News in Brief

Monday, August 25
Georgia’s PM meets Armenian President in Yerevan

Developing mutual cooperation between Georgia and Armenia and improving neighborhood policy were the main things discussed at a meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan today, August 22.

Garibashvili, who is paying an official visit to Armenia, said Tbilisi and Yerevan had agreed to "further deepen the close friendship and cooperation between the two countries.”

PM Garibashvili began his two-day visit to Armenia yesterday. During his short trip he has already met his Armenian counterpart Hovik Abrahamyan.

Earlier today the Parliament Speaker of Armenia Galust Sahakyan hosted the Prime Minister. The parties discussed a future joint project – construction of a bridge to commemorate the long-lasting Georgia-Armenia friendship.

The decision to jointly participate in mutual projects was made at a meeting yesterday where Garibashvili and Armenia’s PM discussed the prospects of deepening political and economic relations. The two PMs agreed to jointly construct a bridge to commemorate their friendship.

"Our two countries have much in common. Georgia and Armenia went through difficult periods in the past and we proved that we are not just neighbors, but we are friends as well. My visit is evidence of that. I am ready to deepen our relations,” Garibashvili told the Armenian Parliament Speaker.

The Georgian PM’s press office said Garibashvili invited Sahakyan to Tbilisi in October.

The meeting of Garibashvili and Sahakyan was attended by members of a Georgian delegation and representatives of the legislative body of Armenia.

Dariali Landslide Cleanup Underway

It will take at least two weeks to restore portions of a road linking Georgia with Russia, which was damaged by a landslide that hit the Dariali gorge close to the Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point late on August 20, Georgian officials said on Friday.

Two people – Georgian and Turkish citizens, who were working on a construction site of hydro power plant, were missing as a result of the landslide. A body, which is believed to be of one of the missing persons, was recovered from Tergi River on the Russian side of the border, Georgian officials said on August 22.

Infrastructure of the border crossing point, flooded with mud, has also been heavily damaged, finance minister Nodar Khaduri said.

The Finance Minister told journalists in Dariali gorge that efforts are underway to make the border crossing point operational at the time when the portions of road, destroyed and damaged by the mudslide, will also be restored.

PM Irakli Garibashvili, who arrived at the landslide-hit area in Dariali gorge on August 22 after a two-day official visit to Armenia, said that damaged pipeline, through which Armenia gets Russian gas via Georgia, is expected to be restored by Monday.

He also said that preliminary estimates show damage only at the border crossing infrastructure of about USD 3 million.

Vazha Panchulidze, head of the road department, said that about two-kilometer long portion of road has been damaged – twice much than it was damaged by the previous landslide in the same area on May 17.

“In two days we will have a full picture of scale of this disaster and in two days it will be possible to say precisely how long it will take to restore traffic here,” Panchulidze said.

Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Shavliashvili, said it will take at least two week to restore the road.

It took almost one month to restore traffic via Kazbegi-Zemo Larsi border crossing point with Russia after the previous massive landslide in the area on May 17.

Georgia enforces strict Ebola virus preventative measures

Georgia is continuing to implement prevention measures to be sure that every person who enters the country from the Ebola virus high risk countries in Africa is healthy, says National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) representative Khatuna Zakhashvili.

To date 14 people had entered Georgia’s border from affected countries, most of them from Nigeria. The NCDC was "strictly monitoring their health condition" and will continue to do so for 21 days, the longest incubation period for the virus.

"Now we have no doubts that they are healthy. The risk is very low, in Nigeria there are only 13 registered cases of the Ebola virus for the population of 174 million. Besides, we have the strict rule to monitor everyone’s health who will enter Georgia from affected countries,” Zakhashvili told media.

About one hundred students from Africa study at Tbilisi Medical University and the beginning of September was when summer vacations ended. According to the Medical University administration most of the African students (87) were from Nigeria. They will be allowed to join others at the University only after the incubation period ended.

A special isolation unit has been established and was ready for any cases at the Tbilisi Inflectional Pathology Centre, NCDC stated.

The Ebola virus, for which there is no vaccine and no cure, has claimed 1145 lives since the current outbreak began in February. More than 2,400 people were confirmed or suspected to have contracted the deadly disease.

Georgia’s NCDC and Public Health advised against travelling to West Africa due to the deadly Ebola outbreak, which is spreading faster than it can be contained across Western Africa.

In particular, the NCDC called on people not to travel to four countries - Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - that were currently at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

Occupied South Ossetia’s de-facto government to close so-called border with Georgia on August 25-26

Occupied South Ossetia’s de-facto government will close so-called border with Georgia. According to REGNUM, “Georgian citizens will not be allowed to cross the border on August 25-26”.

We remind you that occupied South Ossetia’s de-facto government is going to hold special events dedicated to the sixth anniversary of recognition of independence of South Ossetia by Russia.

We plan to ship more products to Russia – Irakli Gharibashvili

Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, does not think that Russia will raise another embargo against Georgia and claims that the list of Georgia’s products shipped to this country is expected to expand in the short run.

"We have pursued intensive, constructive and pragmatic politics with our neighbor country for two years already. We have already succeeded in taking a number of constructive and aim-oriented steps as a result of which we have managed to export our produce to Russia thus far. As you know our neighbor country has raised an issue of the presumable abrogation of free trade practice with Georgia; however, this does not mean that it will impose a new embargo on us. On the contrary, we plan to ship more products to Russia,” stated the Prime Minister.

Giorgi Margvelashvili, congratulates Petro Poroshenko on Independence Day

Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has congratulated his counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, on Independence Day. “Mr. President, on behalf of the Georgian people, I do congratulate you on Independence Day – main national holiday of Ukraine. Our countries are connected with strong ties of friendship; we fought to secede from the viscous empire of the Soviet Union together, side by side. Having gained independence, we have backed each other and helped each other in building a state. We do remain your loyal advocates and good-wishers now, when Ukraine still has enough power to safeguard its sovereignty and remain committed to its path. However, unfortunately, Ukraine’s decision to fight for its independence has claimed the lives of great deal of people. I do bow before the Ukrainian heroes who set an immensely good example to those for whom freedom is a supreme and fundamental value. Despite everything, I do believe that Ukraine will gain victory and will provide its people with better, bright future,” announced Georgia’s President.